AHI 1E Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Blue Qur'An, Umayyad Caliphate, Quran

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28 Sep 2016
Key Words to know:
Emergence of a New Visual Language
Based on: Affinity
Blue Koran
Jerusalem: Noblesacred enclosure (Halam al Sharif)
The farthest Mosque
Dome of the Rock
1st Islamic State:
Caliph: new elected leader, successor of the prophet in the terms of the head of the
community, not as the direct link between God
By 661, a particular dynasty takes over the caliphs: Umayyad Dynasty, move to
Damascus from the Arabian Peninsula
They rule for approximately 100 years. They call themselves caliphs.
They take over Byzantine Areas
At first, their coins were similar to byzantine coin characteristics but they evolved to
their own coins that only consisted of writing, that to of God.
They Deployed Arabic language and writing
They very deliberately made a choice to use a codex(book) to put the oral message of
God in writing
Byzantine Manuscript: purple colored parchment to symbolize royalty and wealth.
It was only made to be viewed by nobility. It showed the patronage power.
Blue Koran: 9th or 10th century. North Africa,
has very few dots (in order to read this, you need to be very fluent in Arabic or even
know it by heart)
stained blue with indigo pages (very expensive)
Gold is the only object used.
It was an object created by attentive people with great care
Style of writing: regular, proportional, certain letters are elongated for viewer purposes,
effort to create a homogeneous surface
Difference from Byzantine Manuscript: Blue Koran has no paintings/ illustrations.
Umayyads take over this area because it is very sacred. A lot of history takes place here
in Noblesacred enclosure
Dome of the Rock (was not a mosque then) sits on a stoned platform. On this platform,
they built several buildings including the farthest mosque.
8 sided building surmounted by a dome.
Exterior walls are covered by slams of quartered marble.
It is built to house the rock; wealthy
Top is covered in mosaics: gold and glass materials used
The mosaics are floral motifs …also there is excerpts from the Koran on the top a single
strip; is difficult to see from the ground
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